Wood Movement

Steam bending

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I had the opportunity to steam bend the curved back legs for a chair – part of my next project! It was a lot of work to set up but bending really made my year because of how much help and support I got throughout the process. With the guidance of instructors and classmates bending two inch square blanks of white oak was really successful. Here are some photos from several bends:

My medieval setup: the steam school’s steam generator was being repaired so I used their old equipment. A pressure cooker full of boiling water pumps steam directly into the steam box for nearly two hours. The surrounding mock-ups and sheet metal help to block the wind, while the blanket insulates the steam box, hopefully making the process more efficient.

Action shot: getting the oak blank out of the steam box and onto the form as quickly as possible.

Sliding the straight blank into the boot of the form.

All the amazing help I received to bend the two inch blank over the form.

Some shots of the finished product… almost!

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